Christianity Daily: China Implements Law Compelling Churches to Hand Over Tithes and Donations to Authorities, According to China Aid Report

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Christianity Daily
Jul 05, 2016 01:18 pm EDT

■ The Chinese state government in Zhejiang province has implemented a new law for some of the churches to hand over all their income and donations to the authorities, the China Aid reported.

The law was enforced in Pingyang County, Wenzhou, where the members have to give all the tithes and donations to authorities.

“The government officials will interfere with church affairs, managing our donations and some large-scale projects. We have to obtain their (the government’s) permission if we would like to buy equipment or decorate the church. We will have to ask for permission for any expenses more than a few thousand yuan,” a source told China Aid.

State officials in Zhejiang province have demolished over 2,000 church crosses since 2014 when a “beautification” campaign known as “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” was launched. Authorities have cited illegal construction as the reason for the demolition of churches and crosses.

Officials in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, implemented a law asking
churches to hand over all tithes and donations to authorities.
(Photo : Portrait of an LBX/Flickr/CC)
In April, a church was demolished in Zhejiang, on claims that the church’s cross was “too high” atop the building.

Since 2014, the Chinese government stepped up its efforts to supress religious freedom in the country. Christian groups have been one of the major targets of the government which sought to keep a tight rein on perceived dissidents in the socialist system. Hundreds of pastors and Christian lawyers were detained in China in the last two years. Many of those arrested still remain under judicial custody.

The annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (2016) mentioned China among the “countries of particular concern (CPC)” where "the governments either engaged in or tolerated ‘particularly severe’ violations of religious freedom.”

“Individuals and groups who have fought hard in the past decade for human rights gains were the clearest casualties of an aggressive campaign against peaceful dissent, their treatment starkly contrasting with President Xi’s vow to promote ‘rule of law’,” said a Human Rights Watch 2016 report which documented governmental abuses around the globe.

China Aid Media Team
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